The first word that came to someone’s mind when they saw Kankri for the first time wouldn’t be cute. Kankri was the total opposite from any form of the word. Especially once people got a good earful of another one of his sermons. Kankri Vantas was a pudgy, annoying boy with uncombed hair, freckles that colonized his face, and one friend who was his roommate.
Cronus was hot. To any stranger, maybe. To the people who knew him he was a whore that never fooled around because, well, tough luck. The fish don’t like to bite onto lines commenting on their racks or jewels. No shit. But, if you didn’t know him, he could be counted as downright irresistible, if you could get past the whole John Travolta wannabe thing. He was tall, built (but not too), and had pole stripper legs long and graceful like a gazelle dancing in the forest (?????). His face was easy on the eyes and even the scars on his eyebrows were attractive. And everybody wondered, some even asked, what a not-so-smooth, good-looking guy like Cronus was doing with a short, fat, overall insufferable guy like Kankri.
Cronus never told why. Why was it their business to know.
Kankri didn’t know either. Which some could guess probably brought on his… habit.
Kankri had always compared himself to Cronus. His looks, his interests, his attitude, and his weight. While Cronus was, like 130, Kankri was 163, at the least. Cronus tried to be nice about it, when it was brought up. But Kankri knew that Cronus thought he was fat. Hell, he thought he was fat. And anytime someone would joke about his weight, Kankri would slowly fall into a pit of despair and desperation.
The first time he made himself throw up, it was the beginning of the school year. People were flocking around campus with new tans and beach bodies. And since Kankri had taken a summer course and stayed on campus the whole summer, he was still as pale and chubby as always. When Cronus came back from his summer trip to Italy, he grinned and wrapped Kankri in a tight hug.
He got more muscular. And tanner. He noted bitterly. Good for him.
Because of Cronus’ new tan and beach bod, more chicks made their way to his and Kankri’s dorm. At least two times a week, another girl would come knocking at the door, all flirty eyes and pouty lips and Cronus would greet them with a charming smile and welcome them into the room.
Kankri always left to go study at the library until they were finished. Once, he actually had to sleep over in Horuss and Rufioh’s dorm for the night.
One day, while Cronus was out, Kankri decided that enough was enough. He couldn’t stand being compared to Cronus all the time and feeling worthless just because he was fat. He stared down into the porcelain bowl and took a deep breath. He gripped onto the edge tightly, his knuckles turning white.
He bit his lip and thought, is this really what I have been reduced to?
His answer was his finger in his mouth and bile rising through his throat.
It burned and ached and Kankri hated it, but it made him feel better. It made him feel like he could actually be liked. And maybe this will work he kept telling himself.
So he continued to do it.
At least three times a week, when he knew Cronus had class, Kankri would stop what he was doing and go into the bathroom and make himself throw up. And every time, he would feel better. Yet, he still cried afterward. He stopped eating as much food, as well. He never accepted the offer of food when Cronus wanted to go out and sometimes, he would go days without eating, without Cronus knowing.
He saw himself get thinner and thinner and it made him feel sick, yet delighted all the same.
Cronus noticed him slimming after three months. “Wow Kan you must have gone on a major diet. Good for you.” The grin that he gave Kankri made him feel sick and he locked himself in the bathroom and threw up unwillingly.
Cronus became concerned after months and months of Kankri throwing up. When Kankri became lighter than him, Cronus confronted him. “Kan, are you okay? You seem really… thin. Like. I don’t know. It doesn’t seem healthy.”
Kankri screamed at him and locked himself in his room.
Cronus found out after coming to the dorm from class early. He closed the door and set his bag on his bed, sighing. Finals were coming to a close, along with the school year. The classes were stressful, but they would soon be over and Cronus would be able to go (to England, this summer) in peace.
He was just about to relax on the bed and turn on the TV when he heard an awful retching noise coming from the bathroom. Cronus got up and walked toward the bathroom door. “Kan?” he called out from outside the room. “Are you okay?” He pushed open the door to find Kankri with his finger in his mouth and his face in the toilet.
Cronus cursed out and wrenched Kankri from the toilet and forced his finger out of his mouth. He didn’t care that he was getting puked on. All that mattered was getting Kankri to stop whatever the hell he was doing.
“What the fuck, Kan?” Cronus yelled, forcing Kankri against the wall. “What the hell were you thinking?”
He didn’t expect Kankri to burst into tears. Cronus’ wall broke.
He wrapped his arms around Kankri and pulled the other into his lap, cooing and petting his hair. “Shsh. C’mon, champ. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” is what Kankri kept whispering, his tears coming out and falling to the floor.
“It’s alright, darling. It’s alright.”
When Kankri whispered, “help me,” Cronus’ mirror broke and a tear escaped.